The National Basketball Association (NBA), Bologna Municipality and Bologna Welcome, the city’s convention & visitors bureau, today announced the Jr. NBA Global Championship Europe and Middle East Selection Camp, a week-long camp to determine the 10 boys and 10 girls who will represent the region in the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship Aug. 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship Europe and Middle East Selection Camp, to be held at the CUSB (Centro Universitario Sportivo Bologna) in Bologna, Italy from April 30 – May 4, will be conducted by NBA Basketball Operations staff and Jr. NBA League coaches, and attended by former NBA player Boris Diaw (France) and USA Basketball Head Coach/Coach Director, Youth & Sport Development, Don Showalter. Former NBA players and NBA Europe Ambassadors Vladimir Radmanovic and Marko Milic will also attend the camp.
Diaw, who won the NBA in 2014 with San Antonio Spurs, is ready to test the young players:
“I look forward to putting the best young players from the region through their paces. Bologna has a great tradition in basketball and I remember playing here with fondness. It provides the perfect backdrop for the next generation of young players to hone their skills and compete against one another.”
The camp will feature 60 participants ages 13 and 14 years old from 24 of the European and Middle Eastern countries where Jr. NBA programs currently operate, and will focus on positional skill development, culminating with three-on-three and five-on-five competition. The top 10 boys and top 10 girls will be selected will by a committee of coaches and NBA staff to participate.
Over 20 coaches will also be present and will take part in coaching seminars throughout the duration of the camp led by Don Showalter. Four coaches will be selected to lead the respective boy and girls Europe/Middle East teams in the in Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando.
Gatorade joins as an associate partner and will give hydration seminars and provide product to the participants.
In the inaugural event last year, the Europe girls team won the international division to advance to the global championship game where they lost to the U.S. Central girls team. The Europe boys reached the international semifinals where they were defeated by the tournament runner-up, Africa & Middle East.
The winning boys and girl’s teams from each of the eight U.S. regional tournaments and the boys and girls teams representing the eight international regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico) will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the culminating event in Orlando.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition. The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the global championship games on Aug. 11.
The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game – teamwork, respect, determination and community – at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2018-19 season, the NBA and its teams plan to reach more than 51M youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.